From the May 24th edition of Lary King Live with guest Bill Maher
MAHER: I was very special. You know, I’m just — I’m shocked that people are finding out that priests are no altar boys, you know. It’s the institution that really needs fixing, and of course you really can’t fix an institution when it is religion. Because when you say religion, immediately you can get away with anything. I mean, look at what the Muslims did with women around the world. If you did that to anybody else, if it wasn’t under the guise of religion, you could never get away with stuff like that. So…
KING: You see no good in religion?
MAHER: Not very much, no. I don’t. I mean, as long as there are people who think that this is the only way, you’re going to have wars and killing and death. I don’t think the hate that comes from the Muslim world comes from religion. The hate comes from some place deeper. But the religion gives it a noble framework to put it in. So, that’s why it’s extremely dangerous.
KING: So this act I’m doing is a noble thing, I’m doing it for a higher power.
MAHER: For a higher power, exactly. And as long as one religion says, “I am the way and the truth and the light and the only way to the Father is through me,” and the other one says, “Mohammed is the only prophet and Allah is the only God,” and people believe that to the death, I mean, they’re going to…
KING: Why hasn’t the church, Bill, come down harder on the priests who have done this?
MAHER: Because they didn’t have to. Because again, it’s religion. It’s the thin black line I call it. You know, it’s like the cops protect each other, so do the priests. And it’s just amazingly hypocritical that they have zero tolerance for just about everything else. I mean, you know, I remember when I was a kid being deathly afraid when I got to be 12 or 13 of what they called “a nocturnal emission.” Do you know what that is in the Catholic Church? Sounds like something from NASA. But it means, you know, if you should have a…
KING: A release.
MAHER: … a release in your sleep — I couldn’t stop it when I was awake, but you know — in your sleep. That’s when I said, you know, I’m never going to satisfy these people, these are — but I mean, that was a sin. But when you screw around with a kid — you know, say three hail Marys, and you know, we’ll send you to another diocese.